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Big 12 mailbag: QB battles, breakout players, mascots

In today's Big 12 Twitter mailbag, we discuss mascots, spring breakout players and the QB battles at Texas Tech, Oklahoma and Texas.

On to the 'bag:

Trotter: Pete is a fine mascot. But I would have to go with "The Mountaineer" of West Virginia. I remember covering the Fiesta Bowl between Oklahoma and West Virginia in 2007, and before the game, a colleague and I were doing a video interview with the then Mountaineer. All of a sudden, in the middle of the interview, he just takes off full sprint to cheer the team as they came out of the tunnel for pregame warmups. I actually got to know the Mountaineer from two years ago, Jonathan Kimble (who is a great guy, by the way), pretty well. He works in Texas now and emails me when he thinks I'm not giving the Mountaineers enough love on the blog. Trotter: It could. TCU's only trips outside Texas last year were to West Virginia and Kansas, and they barely escaped in both games. Oddly enough, their first two years in the league, the Horned Frogs were actually better on the road than they were at home, which was probably an anomaly more than anything. The schedule flips a bit next year. The Horned Frogs get Baylor at home, which is big. But they'll be racking up the frequent flyer miles with plane rides to Minnesota, Iowa State, Kansas State and the two Oklahoma schools. Trotter: The more Kliff Kingsbury talks, the more it sounds like he's going to wait until the fall to name his starter. I have no problem with that. But I also have a difficult time envisioning Pat Mahomes not ultimately winning the job, given how he played to finish last season. Trotter: Man, even celebrities like Bob Barry Jr. want to be part of the 'bag. I haven't seen any over/unders from Vegas yet. But my personal over/under for the Sooners would be 8 1/2. The Sooners have a brutal November schedule, with Baylor and Oklahoma State on the road, and TCU at home. They could be underdogs in all three. The rest of the schedule, however, is manageable. To me, the key tilt falls on Week 2. If the Sooners can knock off Tennessee on the road, it's not unthinkable they could be undefeated going into November. Trotter: To me, Baker Mayfield is the favorite to win the job. When he first transferred that would have seemed crazy. Trevor Knight was firmly entrenched as the starter and Mayfield was looking at sitting out a year due to in-conference transfer rules. But Knight's struggles last season combined with Mayfield's familiarity with the system new coordinator Lincoln Riley is installing, Mayfield has the edge. Trotter: I have no problem with turkey bacon. I don't eat it. But I wouldn't be against eating it. One of my favorite dinners from my bachelor days was turkey sausage with barbecue sauce and black pepper. Easy to prepare. Tasty. Reasonably healthy. Trotter: Stoops could go 8-5, but that's still better than Brown's worst record, which was 5-7. Remember, Stoops is just two years removed from going 10-3 and beating Alabama in the Sugar Bowl. And he just's three years away from winning a share of the Big 12 title. There's reason for Sooner fans to be concerned about Oklahoma's gradual decline in recent years. But it's nowhere near as steep as the one Brown endured in the twilight of his coaching career. Trotter: I have no idea who coined the phrase, "if you have two quarterbacks, you really have none." But it applies here. If the Longhorns settle into a two-quarterback system, they're really saying they're in trouble. Ultimately, I think Charlie Strong will settle with either Tyrone Swoopes or Jerrod Heard (or perhaps a looming transfer). Because the Longhorns have no chance, unless he gives one of those guys a chance at becoming Texas' long-lost answer at the position. Trotter: K-State athletic director John Currie is a smart guy, and I'm sure he has a short list of names in mind. The Bill Snyder tree is a large one, though at the same time, there isn't an obvious heir-apparent, either. I have no idea what direction they will go. But I do think it's important that whatever hire K-State makes, it does it with Snyder's blessing to make the transition as seamless as possible. Personally, I hope Snyder coaches another five years. College football is much more fun with him than without. Trotter: Guys I've heard promising things about so far this spring: Baylor DE Brian Nance, TCU CB Torrance Mosley, Oklahoma State LT Victor Salako, Oklahoma TE Mark Andrews, Iowa State CB Brian Peavy and Texas Tech DT Josh Outlaw. Trotter: For 2015, yes. Beyond that, no. The Red River Showdown is one of the most storied rivalries in college football history. The "Revivalry" (there's already a "Holy War" see: BYU-Utah) can become a really good rivalry, especially if Baylor and TCU remain relevant. But it is never going to stack up to the pageantry, tradition and ferocity of the Red River game, which is easily one of the five best rivalries in college football.